one day in june,
my friend wrote me a list of things
i am good at.
she did not preface it with anything much,
only a simple
“here you go.”
the title of the document was
and she had bullet pointed them in what seemed a very
and thoughtful way
and it reminded me of
a woman caught between the pages of seven
that we had both
at some point
striven to emulate
on what i think is around about the same day
a year later,
it became very clear to me,
that the only one in need of such a list was
the same person who had created it.
i found it curious
that such a person could have such capacity to love
and one day i caught her arm
and i looked at it
and she looked at me
looking at it
she started to cry.
and i am not sure what hurt more
whether it was the feeling of the tears soaking
into my shirt
or the thin, wavering lines of red
on her arms,
ones that she had arranged in what seemed a very
and thoughtful way
and the colour reminded me
of ronald weasley,
who was a character i must admit
to disliking at first
but becoming fond of
and one i know she
had always loved.
my friend is very pale and very slight,
and she is very beautiful
in a way that everyone but her seems to notice.
sometimes i look at her and i wonder at how someone so stiflingly
can have more faith in an paper and ink boy with a lightning bolt scar
than in herself.
these things have always been very strange to me.
my friend listed my talents
when i did not need them listed.
but i fooled myself into thinking
and she acted upon
what she saw.
i wonder now,
what i could and would
and i wonder if my friend
still hurts so much
that she feels she needs to
cut the feeling
out of herself.
and i will not ever write her a bullet-point list,
because it will be too long.
instead i have written her
just over six hundred words of whispered nothings
and fervent wishes that they would make the wispy lines of red on her arms
that i will never show her
but she will find anyway.
but i will read her favourite books
if i must.
i will not tease her for the way the pages of her copies are slightly
because she reads them in the bath.
i will remember that the characters’ middle names are james and jean and bilius,
and i will not ever call harry potter
mostly because he is not
and also because i see him in her every day.
i will love slytherins and i will love gryffindors and
heaven forbid i should leave out hufflepuffs or ignore
i will watch every film at least
i will appreciate severus snape
and i will listen to every anecdote that she ever relates to me on the topic
even if i have heard it before.
if those seven books about a boy who lived in a cupboard under the stairs
is the only story that ever stays in my head
then i am glad that my friend picked a story
that is worthwhile.
and i hope that even ten years after i write this
she will still love the paper and ink boy with
the lightning bolt scar
but she will love herself
just as much